An Engineering Approach to Predict Subsidence Likelihood Over Abandoned Coal Mines in Illinois

Hao, Qing-Wang
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
In this paper, the authors attempt to develop engineering based approaches for estimating safety factors against pillar and floor failures and predicting likelihood of subsidence events over abandoned coal mines in Illinois. There are two critical problems involved in the analysis: determination of geotechnical properties, and consideration of time effect. The authors attempt to solve the problems by generating hypotheses, which are used to modify existing engineering models for estimating pillar and floor safety factors. The modified models are validated using data from two well established databases of subsidence events over active and abandoned mines in Illinois. The data analysis suggests that most of the trough type subsidence events in Illinois were caused by floor failures rather than pillar failures. The subsidence incubation period seems to be directly related to initial floor safety factors at the time of mining. This correlation can be used to predict the likelihood of subsidence and to assess subsidence risks within both spatial and temporal contexts where detailed mine maps are available.
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